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5. What causes the seasons?

Because of the Earth's elliptical orbit, it is closest to the sun in December and furthest from the sun in June. Earth's axis is tilted 23.5 degrees. In the summer, you are pointed toward the sun, so it rises higher in the sky and shines more directly. In the winter, you are pointed away from the sun, so sunlight reaches the surface at an oblique angle.

Earth moves around the sun, not the other way around. Earth's axis is tilted 23.5 degrees. In the summer, you are pointed toward the sun, so it rises higher in the sky and shines more directly. In the winter, you are pointed away from the sun, so sunlight reaches the surface at an oblique angle.

Earth's axis is tilted 23.5 degrees. In the summer, you are pointed toward the sun, so it rises higher in the sky and shines more directly. In the winter, you are pointed away from the sun, so sunlight reaches the surface at an oblique angle.

The sun shines equally brightly on all sides. Earth's axis is tilted 23.5 degrees. In the summer, you are pointed toward the sun, so it rises higher in the sky and shines more directly. In the winter, you are pointed away from the sun, so sunlight reaches the surface at an oblique angle.

Photo Illustration/NASA
(Read caption)

Earth gets closer to the sun in summer than winter

 

The sun gets closer to the Earth in the summer

 

The tilt of Earth's axis

 

Earth is closer to the hot side of the sun in summer, and the cool side in winter

 
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